Australian theater company, Realscape Productions, and London-based multi-sensory theme park, Darkfield, developed their first broadcast for Darkfield Radio. Double is meant to be an innovative and immersive audio experience that is aimed at turning the home of its audience into a dystopian, sci-fi world, reported Mark Fisher of The Guardian. Darkfield’s previous immersive audio experiments had taken place in “shipping containers” but with the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, the unsettling sound experience of Double “ingeniously overcomes the pitfalls of online theater”. For Darkfield’s artistic directors, David Rosenberg and Glen Neath, Double is the first episode of the three container shows they are turning into a digital audio series for Darkfield Radio.
The twenty-minute-long experience is inspired by the Capgras delusion – a medical condition in which a person believes that their loved one (a friend, a family member or a partner) has been replaced by an imposter with malicious intents and the real person will return only when the imposter is dead. Hence, the experience requires two people to sit across from each other in their kitchen, log into their synchronized Darkfield Radio apps, and hear through their individual headphones. According to David Pollock of The Stage, the experience seems like an “exercise in sound design” where performer Christopher Brett Bailey interjects amidst a 360-degree sound mix.
At $10 per ticket, Double is available to stream or download through August 1. According to Dominic Corr of The Reviews Hub, the language that is spoken by Brett Bailey is “poetic enough to seduce” and “accessible enough to invite”. Additionally, an automated voice welcomes the audience into the program and the slick and clean interface of the app itself performs the part of building a dystopic world where augmented perception is toyed with and a “gothic seriousness” surrounds the audience. After a while, Brett Bailey’s whispers transcend into the feeling of him luring over one’s shoulder, added Fisher.
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